In This, My 54th Year.

Once again I want to thank you, my heartbeats, for all the love shown this week. My 54th year started off a wee bit strange with major changes professionally and personally. Made my knees shake but my faith ain’t fake. No worries babies. God is in the details.

I have come to realize that I am a full year older than my mother was when she died and God has brought me back from more near misses than I can recount here. I owe it to her, to God and to myself to make this year count!!

Pulling back a wee bit so I can move forward. Choosing the fast God chose for me and using this time to straightened my crown.

ALL MY LOVE, MICHELLE


#MystoryGod’sGlory

No Fruit Cake, Please

Reflecting on yesterday’s Christmas blessings.

My husband’s latest scans came back clean. Whew just in time to put a little Christmas cheer back.

My “partner in crime” cousin’s suspected breast cancer turned out to be nothing. I think she is happy I bug folks about smash-a-grams.

The Lord put me in the path of a young man who needed a Christian stranger to look past color, gender and class to “read his mail”. He thought he had hit a psychic reading which gave an inroad to talk about WHO a word of knowledge really comes from.

Then an unexpected last minute dessert order that I really didn’t know how to charge for, helped pay for 6 new sets of thermals for donation to Blessing Warriors RVA Inc. .

All I need now is for no one to offer me fruit cake and this will be the best Christmas ever.

Merry Christmas Everyone

With Love and Penmanship – Michelle

Bloom Again

YOUR LESSON FOR TODAY.
A few days ago I was going to toss it because the other early blooms had died and it was looking rough. But I choose to cut away the dead parts and sure up the soil for what looked like one last shoot.  I tied her to a bamboo stick for support.  And within days this happens!!!

So take note, no matter what life looks like you will bloom again.  Just remember:
1. Let Go of the dead habits and toxic folks along for the ride.
2. Check your roots and use some self care to fertilize your path
3. Tie yourself to a good support system Faith – Family – Good Friends and pro counseling!

 -In Loving Memory of Edelmira Brown. November 1969 – October 2022



Rude About Boobs 2022

Today I practice what I preach. Checking in at 7:15 a.m. for my repeat 3D Smash-a-gram. Its 3 a.m. now and while I should be sleeping, I am up thinking about the ridiculously pink outfit I will wear today. My attempt to warn every woman I walk past today to not to let this happen to them.

It hits different once you have had BC knock on your door. You don’t complain about the discomfort as much. You are not as shy about being half naked in front of strangers. You accept the fact that yours takes longer and costs more than a regular test. You understand that you will not be allowed to leave until several people “read” you. You hold your breath and try to be tough while you wait for the nurse to come back with a “thumbs up.”

Yes, I’m still at it. Being rude and talking about boobs! LOL. But I forfeit my right to be private in order to save lives. I lost 4 years of my “normal life”. I know others that lost all of theirs . An hour once a year…every year just may give you yours back!!!!!!

#rudeaboutboobs #singchelle #breastcancersurvivor #breastcancerawareness

Find Me In The Clutter

All this week I found it tough to find my quiet time and focus. 

Being a wife, mom of 5, grandma of 10. a full time employee of a job that runs more like 12 hour a day and resource minister, what is alone time again? I had pushed my time with God to quick moments…out of focus and not very devoted. 

 Guilt tried to creep in several times as I had been carving some time this week to do some decluttering and downsizing as I am making decisions whether to renovate my cute little house built in 1955 or move on to something bigger. Like I found time for junk but not Him.

Amongst the piles of what to trash, what to give away, and what to keep for repurposing, I found treasures and tears. Joys and lows. Memories kept and some that needed to be let go.  I laughed as much as I cried. I held on to as much as I said “why do I still have this?”

This morning, I go to get up determined that God and I would have coffee no matter what!  Yet before I could fully get out of bed, my foot would rest on one of the many piles of sorted clothes. My mind immediately thought to tidy up a little first. 

“Find Me In The Clutter”

What?

“Find Me In The Clutter”

Clear as day. In my spirit was an utterance to see God’s Glory in all my mess. As I refocused, I see Him.

He is there with me amongst the colorful stick figure drawings and piles of mother’s day cards from the joy of being a mom and Nama.  

He is there with me in  the butterflies I collect in memory of the beloved twin daughters and a grandson lost at birth.

He is there with me in the college diploma I received though I was told as a teenage mother I wouldn’t graduate high school. He is there with me in all 5 of their diplomas as well.

He is there with me in the mesh and metal cage bra I wore during 25 radiation treatments after 3 months of chemo and a lumpectomy.

He is there with me in angel figurine of a woman whom I never met who died herself but left the encouragement to celebrate my 3rd year as a survivor.

He is there with me in every photo of every loved one, every saved wedding announcement, every saved funeral program. In old records, old books, tickets stubs, vacation shirts and on and on.

I am writing to you now atop a pile of clutter in a hot mess of joyful tears mixed with “God, I’m sorry.” 

 I can’t quite find the words to express this feeling of knowing that He is always with me and speaking,  even when I am a mess in a mess. What I had classified as a distraction turned into revelation and gratitude. A different kind of devotion….  initiated by Him.

I still have work to do…… both on working on “our time” and my cluttered environment.  But He urged me to be mindful to let go of the guilt and allow this to be a “rested work”.  A work that has purpose and meaning that will feel less like work as we clean it together.

WHEW GLORY!

So if any of you earth dwellers go looking for me today, listen out for the Hallelujahs in the hallway under the piles of kids clothes!!!!

  • Michelle

Have Faith

Because of our crazy blended family, I don’t get to see all my 10 grandkids during Christmas. So I gave my oldest son’s kids their gifts early so they could have Christmas together before the eldest boy leaves to spend Christmas in NJ with his mom.

The youngest in this bunch, Jonah, had a gift from me that hinted at a much wanted gift that his parents are giving him on Christmas day. He was totally confused as to why I gave him a video game for a console he does not have. I told him to go have faith. We then begin to sing his fav new phrase “Holy Spirit Activate”.

How amazing it would be it we would grab onto the promises of God this way? He has already dropped the hint. Now go have faith!!!!

Merry Christmas, Love Always Michelle

#rudeaboutboobs

On this last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I just want to remind you that it is not just about one month but about one life, one family, one community, and one world at a time.

I still believe there is a cure out there but in the meantime there are things you can do to help yourself and your loved ones fight against a disease that robs so many families of the caregivers. Early detection is key. Get them Smash-A-Grams, do your monthly feels, and have honest conversations with your doctor.

Love each other enough to be #rudeaboutboobs .

ESCAPED – February 12, 2021

They call it domestic
But the concept is still foreign to me.
How does someone claim to love you then proceed to love you to death?

To the woman of whom the reporters described as “Henrico , East End, House a bloody crime scene, neighbors called police on a regular ” .

I shall mourn for you and your life cut short. I will not allow you to be victimized or blamed for the sins of an eager lover.

In my mind, you fought back but just were not strong enough. You were a warrior weary on the battle. Backed into a corner, you escaped your bruised soul and murdered body.

If his love is called domestic then your exit can be called an escape.

I regret not knowing you before the stories. I would have shared mine so we could have walked out together.

Heart Hungry

I was out in the Carytown area yesterday. One of the worst places to be when you know that you can’t have solid food for 36 hours before a medical test. But I was looking to pick up my last meal for a few days and wanted something special.

However my husband and I ran across homeless people near the trash cans of so many of these trendy restaurants . I began to weep when I saw them because this is America….the land of excess…and yet so many are living like this. Carytown flows with cash. Most times I can afford nothing there. It was heartbreaking seeing people of all ages and colors hoping for some wasteful person’s scraps.

This situation is only exasperated by Covid closing so many churches and shelter resources. It is also created by a ” I got mine. You get yours” attitude so many financially secure people have.

We don’t have a lot in our house but we are blessed. My husband and pooled what we had and bought as many sandwiches and fries we could handle. Thank you to the Carytown McDonald’s for asking what we were doing and donating a matching amount of bottled water.

I was shook so much by one married couple out on the corner with what seemed to be all of their possessions huddled against the cold. I freaked when I noticed a baby stroller but was relieved to find it was a very old dog wrapped in a blanket. I’m not a pet lover but I had to feed it. The poor thing was so tired looking he barely lifted his head at the smell of food. The young husband was so grateful he started to cry.

In the age of Covid you can’t touch, get too close or even see smiles anymore. But I was struck by all the emotions in his eyes and they spoke the volume of the problems in the human experience. His eyes were a golden brown color that I have never seen before and pierced right through me as a reminder to be grateful in all things. Even under the dirt and behind a make shift mask his face glowed.

I also noticed that they still wore their wedding bands. Tells me that they have not been out there too long. Most folks would have pawned for a room. Also tells me that they are determined to stay a family.

My husband and I made one last pass thru the street to make sure we hadn’t missed anybody we saw. Thought I had gone crazy because the couple and that old dog were suddenly gone. No way they could have moved that fast. We had just circled the block.

All I can do is wonder if we had been visited and tested. I pray we passed. My own food is still in the fridge. No need for it. My heart filled me.

I LIED

I had a discussion recently with someone about mental health in the church. We need to be okay to not be okay every single day and support each other. Pray. Get Counseling. Then Pray some more. Below is what  poured from my heart:

Forgive Me. I lied to you.  

I lied to you a lot.

A clever, cute, quip..  “blessed and highly flavored.”

Yes. I am blessed. 

But the flavor of the month  is salty.

Salty attitude

Salty sarcasm 

Both to cover  up the flavor of decade.

Salty tears. 

See I am a child of the Most High God. 

Above and Not beneath

Head and Not the tail.

World  Class Devil Stomping Overcomer

Remember??

You ain’t supposed  to know that my weeping endured for more than just a night. 

Tell me, is it joy in the morning?

Or joy in the mourning?

Or joy for the mourning while I am mourning in the morning.?

Am I a sinner because my mourning don’t  feel blessed?

Or right now  cause  I ain’t comforted ?

Or  I don’t wanna be a peacemaker this time?

Am I a sinner because I am still trying to forgive but can’t ever forget ?

Hands in places they should not be

Eyes on things  they should not see

Tattooing my flesh & heart worthless but powerful words that should not be.

That won’t let me be

My poor in spirit just feels broke. 

 Even with all I have……worked for and given,

Isn’t it strange that I miss the home without the indoor  plumbing where we were all together….living.

I was only meek because I was taught to be.  Choked first by the annotate to never let them see me sweat.

Another time by a well armed versed.

 And then again by my own brown skin.

I tried … even crowned my way thru it. 

But chemo was persecution 

Radiation  was an insult  

Diagnosis was an assault  on my character .

I try to  rejoice and be glad…..or at least appear  that way.   

Honestly  I do know that there is greater in the Kingdom. My pure in heart is seeing God .

Just can’t understand why so many took the trip 

In one year

One season  

One month.

In one day.

I still hungry Lord.  I am still  thirsty. 

(Pandemics. Politics.)

Here’s  my cup Lord .

(Evictions. Convictions. )

It’s  all full up Lord.

(Riots and Racism)

Feed me 

(Say Their Names)

Cause I want no more of  this Lord 

Full and starving

Empty and overflowing 

Sister-super-sanctified 

Dying and want nobody knowing

Hush children. Hush children

Don’t let nobody be calling my name.

Is there a balm in Gilead? Do I rub it on? Do I smoke it? Does it come in sugar free gummy form?

Me who never wanted to be touched, now misses the laying on of hands.

Holy Hands

Grease my forehead and make it stop hands.

Speak a word to me.

Just don’t  kill me softly. 

I’m healed!

Just still hurting.

Walking by faith and not by sight. You run into stuff.

You stub a toe waiting for light

Soothe my silent screaming. With your truth!

You been testi-lying too?

Right?